The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Surround Sound Coffins

I’m thinking the Swedes have a lot of time on their hands during those long winter nights.

No Rest for the Dead with Surround Sound Coffins

Coffin Robert Lawton wikimedia

image by Robert Lawton, wikimedia commons

For the full story, click on the title above.

My thanks to funny lady Leanne Shirtliffe for this tip. I recommend her new book, Don’t Lick the Minivan, at her site at Leanne Shirtliffe ~ Ironic Mom.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

We have a bold move to make us smile. This man wanted a job on Wall Street. His qualifications? ” . . . I have no unbelievably special skills . . . ” But he does have moxy. Cover Letter from Average Joe Earns Praise on Wall Street

And then there are those who just want the paycheck and aren’t interested in working. Via best selling author Larry Enright, the Story of a Man Who Outsourced his Work to China so He Could Watch Cat Videos All Day. You can find Larry’s outstanding books at Larry Enright.

Grumpy Cat Stupid Alternative

From top literary agent, Chip MacGregor, How Reading Shakespeare and Wordsworth Offer Better Therapy than Self-Help Books.

An eloquent reminder that being physically present with our children is not the same as being present with our children. How to Miss a Childhood by Hands Free Mama.

Once again, soon-to-be best selling author Susan Spann freely shares her publishing attorney expertise at Chiseled in Rock. More Than You Bargained For: Contracts Up Close & Personal

A voice from the past. 100-Year-Old Photos Found in Antique Camera

For twelve years now, people have been simultaneously taking off their pants to ride the subway. The No Pants Subway Ride started by Improv Everywhere now has participants as far away as Mexico City and Stockholm. This is their video of the 2013 event in New York City.

As you can see, I learned how to frame questions from all of those damn political fliers that won’t stop showing up in my mailbox.

All the best to all of you for a week of pleasant music.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The Next Big Thing

By Piper Bayard

We usually avoid writing about writing on our blog, but it’s time for an update. Big things are happening for Holmes and I this year. Not only are we now featured bloggers at the Social N Network*, but we have been picked up by Stonehouse Ink Publishing. The first book due out is one of mine, SEEDS, a dystopian sci-fi that will be released this spring. Look for our Bayard & Holmes spy thriller, APEX PREDATOR, later this year.

When I mentioned our progress to our great friend and International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze, Vicki immediately invited me to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

A Blog Hop is a way for readers to discover new authors. On this stop, I’ll tell you a bit about SEEDS by answering ten set questions, and then I’ll link you to other authors who answer the same questions.

My gratitude to Vicki Hinze for inviting me to participate in this event.  You can click the following links to learn more about Vicki and her books.

Website:  Vicki Hinze

Buy her books: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Hinze/e/B000AQ48S4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

The Next Big Thing

1: What is the working title of your book?

SEEDS

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story I like to tell is how I was SCUBA diving one day when a handsome merman with a striking resemblance to Hugh Jackman gave me a magic abalone shell with the word “destiny” engraved on it. I asked him if he’d like to have dinner with me. You know. As friends. I mean, my husband wouldn’t mind. Not too much. Hugh Jackman Merman declined with some tale about needing to sort his mer-socks. So I surfaced and opened the shell. Inside were the words “apocalypse,” “famine,” and “prophet.” Then, I fell into a magical sleep and woke up with the book fully formed in my mind. . . . That’s the story I like to tell.

The truth is that I haven’t got a clue. I wake up at 4 a.m. with this stuff in my head and write it down. I don’t make it up. It moves through me.

Hugh Jackman US Navy wikimedia

Hugh Jackman Merman, image from US Navy

3: What genre does your book come under?

SEEDS is a dystopian sci-fi thriller.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My dearest hope is that one day Kristen Stewart will star . . . Just kidding. Really.

The main character, Archer, I envision as something of a Kiera Knightley. Her love interest, Quinn, could be played by Ian Somerhaulder, Chris Pine, Liam Hemsworth, or Hugh Jackman Merman. I’m not picky.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a post-apocalyptic world where hunger is a weapon, a huntress must befriend her worst enemy to overthrow a theocratic dictator before he exterminates her people.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

SEEDS will be traditionally published by indie publisher, Stonehouse Ink. I didn’t put much effort into finding an agent, but Holmes and I do work closely with our publishing attorney and fellow author, Susan Spann.

Stonehouse Ink Logo

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

All my life. But for the purposes of this question, four months.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Parts of SEEDS have an unfortunate resemblance to THE HUNGER GAMES, which I never even heard of before writing my first draft. Apparently, almost every author who’s been in the business for long has suffered this unjust circumstance so I’m rolling with it. Taking it on the chin. Sucking it up. I don’t mind. Really. *stabs voodoo doll with pin*

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A friend offered me the opportunity to sell life insurance. It made sense and dovetailed nicely with my law degree. Thinking about it, I realized that if I accepted, I would die some day having never written a book. I declined her offer and got busy. So on all of those days when I’d rather watch the dog catch flies than work, I remember that I could be selling insurance and I clock in at the WIP.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

SEEDS, while it does not contain a Hugh Jackman Merman, is a story with many levels that can alter with every read. It can be a light action thriller, a future world escape, or an experience of the limitless change that is possible in one seemingly isolated act. Every reader will see something different in it.

This is what people are saying about SEEDS.

“With echoes of UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN and HUNGER GAMES, SEEDS is a sprawling adventure ranging across a world racked by post-apocalyptic want, denial, and prophetic dictum. Equal parts heroic quest and morality play, it races forward on a current of deftly woven characters and breakneck action, never failing to deliver what every reader wants—a helluva good story.” ~~ Ryne Douglas Pearson, screenwriter of KNOWING and bestselling author of SIMPLE SIMON and CONFESSIONS

“SEEDS envisions a terrifying and prescient future of a United States lost to the worst extremes.  Piper Bayard’s wonderfully relevant and beautifully realized fantasy tale would make George R.R. Martin proud as it combines the best of CHILDREN OF MEN with Stephen King’s seminal THE STAND. . . . The result is a major debut that is not to be missed.”~~ Jon Land, bestselling author of STRONG AT THE BREAK and BETRAYAL

“Piper Bayard explodes on the scene in SEEDS. Creative. Imaginative. Chilling and reassuring. A captivating tale well told.”~~ Vicki Hinze, bestselling author of DUPLICITY

These are the other authors on today’s Hop:

1.  Kathy Carmichael

2.  Kimberly Lyllewellyn

3.  Buzz Bernard

4.  Kellie Sharpe

Below are the authors who will join the Hop next Wednesday. I hope you will bookmark them and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases.

1.  Ellie Ann

2.  Jen L. Kirchner

3.  K.B. Owen

4.  Kerry Schafer

5.  Susan Spann

What is the Next Big Thing happening for you in 2013?

*The Social N Network is a network of news and events sites in over thirty cities across the US with a collective following upward of 500k. The flagship site is SocialInDC. Lonny Dunn of ProNetworkBuild is the brains and talent behind the business.

SocialIn Logo

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . News Agency Cites “The Onion” as Fact

Fars, the Iranian government-backed news agency, last Friday cited an article from The Onion as fact. The article said most rural Americans prefer Iranian President Ahmadinejad that President Obama. I cracked up when I read this, but then I realized there might be some truth in it if the rural Americans in question don’t understand Farsi and don’t allow translators. Particularly during election season. . . The worst part? Some of those at Fars still believe the story even after they found out The Onion is a satirical paper.

image aljazeera.com

Read the full story here. Iran Apologizes for Citing Onion Spoof Obama Poll as Fact

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

New York Times Best Selling Author and Heckuva Guy James Rollins has a great new series about Apocalypse called Know it Now! Many sources predict the end of the world in just a few months. James Rollins looks at the possibilities for how that could happen and what we can do about it in a 12-week series that investigates different forms of Apocalypse. You can subscribe to these free videos at his blog, Know it Now! Introduction – Can We Predict the Future? Episode 1.

“Criminal Minds” should hire Catie Rhodes to help with their story lines. She finds the the creepiest facts. Early American Serial Killers: Jesse Pomeroy

By International Best Selling Author and Graceful Lady Vicki Hinze, What is Reversal in Fiction Writing?  Check out her latest romantic suspense, SURVIVE THE NIGHT, the first of the much-anticipated LOST, INC. series.

Tiffany A. White and Amber West are the two women I count on for my entertainment news now that there’s no TV guide in the Sunday paper.  Tiffany gives us a run down on the series premieres of October in New October Drama, and Amber gives us a peek at Lucy Liu’s modern day Sherlock Holmes series, Elementary, in Elementary, My Dear Watson.

Number One Amazon Bestselling Author Aaron Patterson directed me to this article, Average Price of E-Book Best Seller Rises Nearly $2 in Four Weeks.

Bad Police Sketches: a Photo Gallery

Reader Empathy: Catch It & Keep It with Guest Angela Ackerman. Angela also co-authored The Emotion Thesaurus, a MUST for every fiction writer. It belongs on the bookshelf right beside your Strunk & White.

Just in case you should need this one today, How to Escape from a Black Hole: Scientists Study Energy Jets.

My gift to my writing partner, Jay Holmes, along with all of you other guys who read this. “Miss Bum Bum” Pageant Seeks Brazil’s Best Butt

The 25 Funniest Tweets about the Debate

And an important health message for gamers from one of my all-time favorites, Nathan Fillion of Castle and Firefly fame.

Campaign Style Poll Daddy:

All the best to all of you for knowing satire from truth.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . Vegetable Psychologist Sets Up Practice in UK

Happy vegetables just taste better.

I’m thinking this means the stars of veggie tales would make one heck of a great tasting salad.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

This came to me via Heather Konik. Want to ‘Do Something Different’ this Summer? Check Out ‘Drive a Tank’

Best Selling Author Kristen Lamb shares her editorial smarts in 4 Writing Crutches that Insult the Reader’s Intelligence

Nigel Blackwell reminds us of the freedoms we enjoy here in America in this fun and interesting post. Pigs, Pants, and Bent Bananas

NOAA Issues a Statement Denying Existence of Mermaids. Your tax dollars at work!

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse

Skater Boys and Billy Purgatory. Ellie Ann always finds the coolest books.

Is Your Personality YOU? Pop by Amber West’s and take a quiz that’s all about you.

Kids think they’ve got the corner on text abbreviations. Clearly, they don’t know Donna Newton. Texting for Adults

Two of my favorites together. Tiffany A. White guest posts for P.W. Creighton. Intriguing Observations: Using Television to Benefit our Fiction Writing

Jillian Dodd dedicated her fun blog to Magic Mike last week, a male stripper version of Showgirls. Called to mind for me the original, hysterical Magic Mike from Saturday Night Live with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley.

All the best to all of you for a week of happy salads.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . Squeez Bacon in a Bottle

My editor/mentor/friend and Best Selling Author Kristen Lamb started a trend this week of giving me +K on Klout about Bacon. Several others followed suit, and this week’s End is Near is my expression of gratitude. Thank you for associating me with the choice gastronomic delight of Mt. Olympus. 🙂

So many uses, so little time. *deep sigh* I’m betting this will be a post-apocalyptic staple along with Twinkies and Spam.

Announcements, Blogs, and Articles in No Particular Order

Speaking of bacon, the awesome Prince of Prose and Porcine Delights, Ryne Douglas Pearson, now has his books Confessions and All for One available in audio. Also, watch for his new release, Cop Killer, later this summer.

New York Times Best Selling Author and Heckuva Guy James Rollins released his latest Sigma Force novel, Bloodline, this week. In it, war dog Kane and his handler join the Sigma Force team. Watch for an interview with this outstanding author  here with Bayard & Holmes on Monday, and click on this link for James Rollins’ Bloodline Tour Dates. Don’t be shy. Stop in and say hello. He’s a very nice man.

Jenny Hansen hosts Kasey Matthews, author of Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood. Inside the Life of a Preemie Parent

As my son says, “When life gives you lemons, say ‘screw this’ and go get a steak.” Susie Lindau knows where to find her steak where the weather is concerned. I Am So Hot! and Dancing for Rain! A Colorado Wildfire Photo Essay

My friend and high school classmate Bob Farkas sent me this spoof on espionage which isn’t entirely a spoof. Tradecraft at The Covert Comic, by John Alejandro King.

Great advice for writers who are experiencing ‘white out’ from International Best Selling Author and Graceful Lady Vicki Hinze. White Out–When Writers Blank Out on the Page

The funny and clever zombie advocate, Shantnu Tiwari, reports that Zombies Demand Equal Pay and Rights.

Facebook’s New ‘Find Friends Nearby’ Feature: Creepy or Clever?

I found this kind of cool. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created this giant Rubber Duck that measures nearly 12 meters high as part of his Rubber Duck Project in 2009. Since then Hofman has taken the Duck around the world to float it down rivers and other major international water-ways. No doubt it baffles people, but I’m guessing it brings on lots of smiles.

As Hofman says, “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate (against) people and doesn’t have a political connotation.” It just makes people smile. This video was taken in Osaka, Japan where rubber ducks are apparently quite proliferous.

Okay, fess up. Will you be trying the Squeez Bacon? 

All the best to all of you for a week of simple smiles.

Piper Bayard

Things I Learned on Vancouver Island

By Piper Bayard

That’s it. I’m in love with Canada. Genuinely a land of Northern efficiency and Southern hospitality.

We spent most of the past two weeks on Vancouver Island, in Victoria and on the shore outside of Sooke. The full moon reflecting off the Strait of Juan de Fuca was worth the trip in itself. The best of both civilization and the wild in a land where vast tracts of mountain forest drop straight down to the sea.

I learned many things in this place where earth, sky and water converge.

This calls for a list.

Things I Learned on Vancouver Island

  1. It takes approximately 39 hours for Americans to add “eh” to their vocabularies.
  2. Poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curds) is a food group.
  3. Residents of the Vancouver Island coast have driveways so steep you could use them to teach raccoons to climb trees.
  4. The ocean can transform from surreally perfect glass to “Oh, hell! How’d I end up on Deadliest Catch?” in approximately 30 minutes.
  5. The waves of an incoming tide will mesmerize you like online games and, like online games, can leave you wondering where you put the last five hours of your life.
  6. Seeing a killer whale up close in the wild is worth every bit of the sandblasting rain you endure to get to it.
  7. A fifteen pound halibut can win two throws out of three against a six foot woman.
  8. Snorkeling in Victoria Harbor is an excellent argument for snorkeling in the Caribbean.
  9. The friendly common greeting and farewell of Canadian island children is to moon arriving and departing guests as the ferry passes.
  10. Canadians do not consider it friendly for ferry passengers to moon the children in return.
Overall, it was a pocket of time with my family so precious that a part of me will always live there. Click on the tab Vancouver Island 2012 above for a few of my favorite photos. And yes. It was overcast most of the time, but that didn’t bother this desert refugee one bit.

Have you ever been to The Great White North? What fun and interesting things have you learned in your travels?

I’m happy to say that HOLMES IS BACK! We will be publishing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while we work on our spy thriller, Blood Truffles, so keep an eye out for more current events, history, and side-stitching sarcasm.

All the best to all of you for a week of beautiful moons.